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Archive for May, 2010

First Time Home Buyers in Portland

May 26th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

There are so many resources available to first time homebuyers in Portland that I didn’t know about until too late. Many of them can even help you with the downpayment. Brief descriptions and links are included:

Oregon IDA – http://ida.neighborhoodpartnerships.org/

This program will more than match an investment that you make over a length of time. So if you are able to qualify for this program – which I easily do because I work for a nonprofit – you commit to saving $25/month for 2 years, for example, that’s $600. If you are a part of the IDA, it matches the funds multiplied by 3 which is $1800. Put the two totals and you potentially have $2400 for a downpayment – that could be your entire, or close to your full 3% downpayment! I did not participate in this program, although I tried, I fear the organization running the program is understaffed.

Down Payment Assistance Loan - a homebuyer assistance tool designed exclusively for first time homebuyers who are buying a home in one of Portland’s Urban Renewal Areas. As of this posting the PDC has funding in the Interstate Corridor and Lents Town Center URAs.

Tax Abatement – If you are looking inside the City of Portland, make sure you look at the abatement boundaries. NOT all properties that qualify will advertise it, the builder of the new home has to ask for abatement, but if you are looking at a new house, make sure the builder looks into it. The City of Portland is offering a 10-year limited tax exemption program for new construction homes which meet program criteria.  In this program, the Homebuyer continues to pay taxes on the assessed value of the land but will be exempted from paying property taxes on the assessed structural improvements.  After the 10-year period, the property owner will resume paying taxes on the total assessed value of the land and improvement. (http://www.pdc.us/housing_services/programs/financial/single-family_limited_tax_abatement.asp) The very first house I made an offer on was a new construction home that qualified and the builder didn’t even know about the program, what a marketing opportunity lost!

This is a magazine that I found too late – http://www.myfirsthomepdx.com/onlinemag.asp. I had already went through my inspection before I saw this. I would recommend flipping through it. It has a lot of great advice, and you can order a physical copy for free on the same web page. The page I will be handing out to all my potential home buyer friends will be the full page timeline – it’s hard to know what to expect during the buying process but at least looking at this will give you some idea of what to expect.

I’m sure there are so many other links I’m missing for fabulous first time homebuyer information. If you know of any other financial programs in the Portland Metro Area, leave a comment!

Beginning

May 25th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

This blog’s intention is to be a “how to” guide for young homeowners with a conscience and a shallow pocket book. The idea came when I started to buy my first house about five weeks ago. FHA required some “lender required repairs” which at first I thought was going to great, the bank was going to find all the things wrong with the house and fix them at no out of pocket cost to me. This turned out to be a catch 22 which I am still fuming about. The contractor they hired to kill the moss on my roof, just poured bleach all over my roof (which inevitably when down my rain gutters, into the soil, percolating into the stream that parallels the property) Being a socially conscience young professional, the “lender required repairs” continued to be incredibly painful for me from the cheap carpet, to the replacement tiles- none of the decisions were made with time enough or the decency of the contractor (eh-hum- Straighten Up Contracting) to make a socially conscience decision without gobs of money that I, a young professional working in the non-profit world, just didn’t have. It is for this reason, I will document my trials and tribulations as a new young homeowner, fixing up my 1980’s home in SW Portland with social responsibility and on a shoestring budget – On a Greenstring. Here are pictures of me when I finally got my keys and the moment that started it all.

The official hand off!! Give me that key!